Independent investigative journalist and author
Independent investigative journalist and author Bryan Christy focuses on transnational organized crime and the people behind it. A former lawyer and CPA, he is founder and former director of Special Investigations at National Geographic magazine where he designed and led numerous international wildlife crime investigations. For its 125th anniversary, National Geographic named Christy's investigative work one of ten ways National Geographic had changed the world. In 2014, the National Geographic Society named him Explorer of the Year. His "results-oriented reporting" technique has led to the arrest and conviction of criminal traffickers around the world, the passage of new laws, and the elevation of wildlife trafficking to "serious crime" internationally. In 2015, his team installed GPS trackers inside fake elephant tusks to track terrorists operating in Central Africa. His years-long investigations in China helped catalyze the official closure of China's ivory carving industry in 2017. His investigations into religious links to the ivory trade led to police raids on ivory shops in Italy, the Philippines, and Vatican City; the firing of a pedophile monsignor; and the condemnation of the ivory trade by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and Pope Francis. Courts around the world have relied on his work, as have legislators.
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In a globalized world, even local stories can quickly become international. The food we eat, the medicine we take, the clothes we wear and the vehicles we drive -- are all coming from other countries. Following these products' supply chains -- the networks between companies and their suppliers --is a rich field for reporters. Investigations have revealed forced labor, environmental crimes, corruption and human rights abuses. Here are three experts in tracking the use of forced labor, endangered species, and hidden shipping routes.
Transnational organized crime today generates $2 trillion in annual revenue, about the size of the UK economy, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Franchised, flexible and globalized, organized criminal networks comprise a shadow economy that levies its own taxes and enforces its own laws. Come hear three experts on tracking the ties of criminal syndicates in Asia to the global economy.
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